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Onnoghen: CCT Rejects High Court Order, Adjourns Hearing Till Jan. 28 [UPDATE]

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UPDATE

The Code of Conduct Tribunal has adjourned to January 28 for the hearing of the motion by the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Walter Onnoghen.

The Tribunal rejected the High Court Order restraining it from carrying on with the trial.

In a split decision of two members to one, the Tribunal also rejected the request by CJN Onnoghen to adjourn indefinitely.

The tribunal Chairman, Danladi Umar and the third member of the three-member panel, Julie Anabor refused the CJN’s application for indefinite adjournment.

The judges argued that the orders by High Courts were not binding on the CCT.

The second member, Justice William Agwadza Atedze in a dissenting opinion, agreed with the CJN.

Justice Atedze said that the orders by the High Courts and the appeal before the Court of Appeal is enough for the CCT to adjourn indefinitely pending when the issue of jurisdiction was resolved.

CJN Onnoghen had challenged the court’s jurisdiction to hear the non-disclosure of assets charge filed against him by the Federal Government.

The tribunal had, in a just-delivered ruling, elected to continue with the proceedings.

It, however, chose to adjourn when lawyer to the CJN, Wole Olanipekun said he needed time to reply to a motion served on him on Tuesday by the prosecution.

The tribunal then adjourned to enable Olamipekun respond to the motion.

It said it would hear the CJN’s motion at the next adjourned date.

ElombahNews earlier report:

The Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) has temporarily suspended proceedings in relation to the non-assets disclosure case against the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Walter Onnoghen.

The suspension is to allow the three-man panel of the tribunal to consider arguments by lawyers to parties in the case.

The prosecution,led by Aliyu Umar (SAN), wants the court to proceed with the hearing of the case and ignore the restraining orders by three High Courts.

Umar argued that the Courts do not have supervisory powers over the CCT.

The defence,led by Wole Olanipekun (SAN), is asking the tribunal to obey the four restraining orders so far made against it by the High Courts and respect judicial hierarchy.

This, according to him, is because the Court of Appeal has fixed a date for hearing in an appeal by the CJN.

It wants the tribunal to adjourn sine die (indefinitely) pending the determination of the various cases before the High Courts (filed by some civil society organisations) and the appeal by the CJN.

The tribunal is expected to give its ruling when proceedings resumes any moment from now.

More details shortly…

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